Hidden meaning to placement of Cantor names at 9/11 memorial

Dylan Stableford
Retired FDNY Lt. Jerry Collins and his wife Suzanne Collins pause at the 9/11 Memorial, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in New York. Recovery workers and first responders were invited to the memorial to be honored on the 10-year anniversary of the conclusion of clean-up efforts that stretched nine months until May 30, 2002. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The names of all 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks at the World Trade Center appear to be inscribed at random in the bronze panels of the 9/11 memorial in Lower Manhattan. But according to the New York Post, they were grouped by "meaningful adjacencies" at the request of family members, who recently described the details of some of those relationships.

“They weren’t people who just worked together and went home," Danielle Gardner, whose 39-year-old brother Douglas Gardner, a managing director at Cantor, died in the attacks, told the paper. "They made up the fabric of their lives."

Douglas Gardner's name appears near Douglas Gurian, a 38-year-old broker and Gardner's lifelong friend and a former Cantor staffer who was attending a meeting at the Windows on the World restaurant near the top of the north tower on the morning of Sept. 11. Between Gardner and Gurian is Calvin Gooding, 38, who attended Haverford (Pa.) College with Gardner. (On the eve of the attacks, Danielle said she had asked Gooding to sing at Gardner's 40th birthday party, set for Oct. 5, 2001. He was "overjoyed," she said.)

In another pairing, Rosanne Lang, a 42-year-old Cantor equities trader, was placed next to her 30-year-old nephew, Brendan Lang, who was in the south tower when the first plane struck.

According to Gerard Lang, Rosanne's brother and Brendan's uncle, Brendan, a project manager at a different firm, called his parents during the attacks to tell them he would go look for Rosanne in the north tower. “I have a plan,” he said.

The names of Stephen Hoffman and Robert Jordan, traders who became friends after meeting at the University of California, Berkeley, appear alongside each other at the memorial, too.

Daniel and Joseph Shea, brothers (ages 47 and 37, respectively) and managing directors at Cantor, were placed next to 23-year-old Amy O'Doherty, the family's longtime babysitter and recent Cantor hire. "The kids were crazy about her,” Nancy Shea, Joseph’s wife, told the paper. “She was indispensable to our family.”

The names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, attacks on the World Trade Center appear at the memorial site, which opened in 2011.